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Earlier this week, Time revealed their annual list of the most influential teens of the year, and either the magazine has learned from past controversies or teens are really the world’s last hope, because the list is a collection of incredible artists, actors, and activists. Some of the most notable names on the list include Khalid, 19, Jaden Smith, 19, and Millie Bobby Brown, 13, who plays Eleven on Stranger Things.
The list includes many young artists who have everything in place to remain at the top of the charts for years to come. There’s Jaden and Willow Smith, 19 and 17, two of the most philosophical of the bunch, who are both poised to reach fame not just becaue of their famous parents but also because of their many talents. Steve Lacy, 19, started creating music with his iPhone because he couldn’t even afford a laptop, and is now a Grammy-nominated artist working with the likes of Big Sean and Kendrick Lamar. Khalid, 19, won Best New Artist at the MTV VMAs and just wrapped up an international tour with Lorde.
Many young actors were honored with a spot on the list, including Elle Fanning, 19, and Isaac Hempstead Wright, 18, who plays Bran Stark on Game of Thrones. Yara Shahidi, 17, was also named one of the most influential teens for her work as Zoe on black-ish (work that has landed her own spin-off, grown-ish) and for being outspoken about her Iranian and Black roots. She’s also about to start at Harvard; she’s planning on double majoring in sociology and African-American studies. She even got a letter of recommendation from—of all people—Michelle Obama.
The list also includes a hopeful crop of activists and entrepreneurs, many of whom are of color. Mikaila Ulmer, 13, has her Me & The Bees Lemonade stocked at over 300 markets across the country; she has also founded a nonprofit, Health Hive Foundation, to raise awareness about the threat of honeybees going extinct. Moziah Bridges, 15, owns a $1.5 million dollar necktie company. Salvador Gómez Colón, 15, has raised $75,000 and counting to help those affected by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, where he lives. There’s also Rayouf Alhumedhi, 16, the Vienna high school student who can be credited with Apple’s new emoji of a woman in a headscarf.
15-year-old Salvador is sending solar light bulbs and phone chargers to 1,000 Puerto Rican families pic.twitter.com/5OeKuFQomG— NowThis (@nowthisnews) October 21, 2017
“America today feels like a scary place for many people, people of color, DREAMERS, women, the LGBTQ community,” Khalid told Time, echoing the general sentiment that going through Time’s list evokes. “It’s the young people of America, the teens, who have the power to create change.” The list does include a few more “traditional” celebrities—Brooklyn Beckham and Kaia Gerber, Cindy Crawford’s daughter—but the majority of the list is made up of people who are using their platforms, even if it’s just the power of social media, to affect positive change. After all, the world is going to be theirs for a very long time to come.
This is INSANE! 😭 https://t.co/K8uQSR74Fb— Khalid (@thegreatkhalid) November 2, 2017